Why UMF for secondary education?
When the first 31 students of the Western State Normal School gathered in Farmington in 1864, a tradition was born which continues to this day. That earlier incarnation of UMF was the first teacher education college in the state of Maine, and nearly 140 years later UMF still offers the finest education available to aspiring teachers. UMF’s state and national accreditations make it possible for you to be certified to teach in Maine, 33 other states, and Washington D.C.
UMF has undergone many changes since 1864 and is now known as one of the most competitive liberal arts colleges in the Northeast. This fact is important to secondary education/social science majors. You are looking for the best in teacher education and more: depth and rigor in all the fields grouped under “social science”: history, geography, political science, sociology, anthropology, and economics.
Rated one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, UMF has the courses and the reputation to launch you in your planned career. Classes are generally small so you will have easy access to your professors both in and outside of classes, but opportunities are large. All the resources of the seven-campus University of Maine System stand at your disposal.
Located near the heart of Farmington, UMF enjoys a long, close association with area teachers and schools. This will be important when you venture into the classroom for field experience during your sophomore or junior years and student teaching during your senior year. You may also appreciate UMF’s location near the finest recreation areas in the northeast: world class skiing, hiking and water sports.
UMF is also affordable. Our extensive financial aid program ensures money is not an obstacle to obtaining a fine education.
Planning to major in secondary education/social studies?
Social scientists study human behavior, society, and history from a variety of related academic disciplines: history, geography, political science, economics, anthropology, sociology and from interdisciplinary perspectives such as multicultural studies and international studies or in specific area studies such as Asian Studies.
Your secondary education social science program will include course work in the various social sciences (history, geography, political science, anthropology, sociology and economics). You will study both Western cultures (such as Europe and the United States) and non-Western cultures and nations (such as India, China, and Japan). The breadth and multi-disciplinary nature of this program well prepares you to teach the entire middle school, junior high school and senior high school social science curriculum.
Within this broad study of the social sciences, you will specialize in one of the following social sciences: history, geography, political science, or a combined anthropology and sociology specialization.
A degree from UMF in secondary education social science leads to certification to teach history, geography, government, sociology and all other social sciences and social studies courses in grades 7-12 in Maine, 33 other states and Washington, D.C.
Education will be one of the fastest growing fields in the coming decade, with 1.3 million new positions expected to open nationwide. UMF has a reputation for producing well-prepared teachers and graduates do very well finding teaching jobs. A recent survey revealed that of 18 secondary education students, 17 were teaching. UMF takes great pride in the quality of its graduates and their contribution to the critical task of educating the next generation of Americans.
What will you take your first year?
All first-year students at UMF take courses in four foundation areas: science, social science, composition and health, which provide the groundwork for building the rest of your program, and may be taken during the first or second semesters.
Most first year students also take a selection of liberal arts classes which will count toward distribution requirements. These courses form the second tier in general education requirements, and ensure your total program will be well-rounded.
The remaining courses in your first year schedule will either be electives, chosen to explore personal interests, or basic courses to satisfy requirements of your major. As a secondary education major concentrating in social sciences, you might choose courses in United States history, psychology, geography or political science in this category.
Your faculty advisor will review your schedule with you to make sure you are getting a good start in satisfying general education and major requirements as well as fulfilling skills requirements in public presentation, cultural accommodation, writing, research and technology. Many courses you choose will fulfill two or more graduation requirements.
When will you start teaching?
For many, the answer is, “Right away!” Although formal student teaching and other hands-on classroom experiences come later in your program, many education majors jump right into teaching, serving as tutors or aides on campus, or volunteering in local schools. Opportunities to try out your teaching skills are readily available, even during your first year, both on campus and in surrounding communities.
Here’s a sample of some of the courses you may take if you major in this program:
- Secondary Social Science and Multicultural Education
- History and Philosophy of American Education
- History of China
- History of India
- History of Japan
- History of Mexico
- Introduction to Anthropology
- Recent American History
- Introduction to Regional Geography
- Elements of Geography
- Colonial Africa
- Making of Modern Germany
- Modern France
- American Colonial History
- The American Revolution
- The Novel as History (American)
- United States History
- Global History
- American Government
- Europe in World Politics
- Peace, Conflict, and World Order
- Political Philosophy
- Person in Society